Asian Games selections were biased, made to feel unworthy in national camp, claims Panghal

New Delhi: Having dragged the national federation to the court over his non-selection in the Indian team for the Asian Games, world championships silver medallist boxer Amit Panghal alleged that he has been “demotivated” and made to feel unworthy during his time at national camp.

Panghal, the country’s lone men’s world championships silver medallist, has filed a writ petition in Punjab and Haryana high court along with two other boxers — Sagar Ahlawat and Rohit Mor against the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) after being left out from the Indian squad for the continental event to be held from September 23 to October 8 in China.

“I have asked for a trial. I don’t understand this new points system,” Panghal, who is the reigning Asian Games light flyweight champion, told PTI on Saturday.

“Even during the world championships, the boxer selected in my weight class (Deepak) based on this system lost to the pugilist I had beaten 5-0 but they are still continuing with it.” A former world number one, Panghal has medals in the all big ticket events barring the Olympics. He had defeated world championship bronze medallist Deepak Bhoria, who has been selected the 51kg weight class for the Asiad, during the Commonwealth Games trial last year.

“I have beaten him in trials before. Even in the points system I am ahead of him but at the end of the week I am somehow number 2.

“I have been demotivated in the camp, because they want to send their own people. If people around you keep saying a person is useless, you start feeling that way,” he added.

The 27-year-old also claimed that there is no transparency in the new evaluation system.

“They don’t tell us anything about the marking. They assessed on weight training, but I am ahead of him in that as well. But at the end of the week, I am rated below (him). I don’t understand this system.

“Where they are deducting my points, where exactly my opponent is scoring, no one knows that, they don’t tell us. I don’t know what and how to improve.” Sagar (+92kg) and Rohit (57kg) also finished second in their respective weight categories behind Sachin Siwach and Narender Berwal under BFI’s selection policy respectively.

The Punjab and Haryana high court has sought response from the BFI as well as the Sports Ministry. The hearing for the case is scheduled for Monday and Panghal is hopeful of a favourable verdict.

“The hearing is on Monday. I think it will be in my favour as I am ahead of him in all the tests, and I have beaten him in trials before.” Commonwealth Games silver medallist Sagar also claimed that the new system of selection is biased. “Last time there were trials (CWG). The boxer who is selected I had beaten him 5-0. Now they are doing assessment they select whoever they want. They have no procedure,” he said.

The BFI, however, maintained that the new selection process was been made clear to all boxers in the camp and the same will be followed.

According to the selection policy, which has been in place since this year, boxers undergo an evaluation process for three weeks where they are judged on various parameters.